Modern Witch: Witchcraft in the 21st Century
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Astrological Lammas Ritual
Within our tradition we celebrate the sabbats as they occur astrologically. This year astrological Lammas will happen on Friday, August 8th when the sun enters 15* Leo. Traditionally Lammas is celebrated as the first of the three neo-pagan harvest festivals with roots driven deep in Irish and Celtic folklore. At 15* Leo we find a fixed star by the name of Dubhe (pronounced DUB-ee) (Bear in Arabic) which is associated with psychic power and destruction. Dubhe is also referred to as “The Eye” or “Pivot of the Universe” and makes up the center of Ursa Major’s spine.For our Lammas ritual we combine both the terrestrial fascination of the first harvest with the celestial alignment of this great star.
During this ritual we surround ourselves with symbols of the harvest. This can be fresh fruit or grains or ceremonial tools like the scythe or boline. We then enter trance and commune with Dubhe to align ourselves with the psychic potential to see clearly what must be harvested and to gain insight regarding how to move through specific issues that we might be facing. This ritual requires us to both be receptive to the messages of the heavenly host and to be able to form a complete description of any issue we might present during this ritual. We are communing with Dubhe through the lens of Leo so we must approach this ritual with clarity and dominion in mind. This ritual is performed best either as the Sun rises or at night when Ursa Major is visible.
For this ritual you will need:
Symbols of the harvest: Corn, Grain, cereals, fruit, wine, scythe, boline, etc.
Quiet space preferably outside.
Sit comfortably facing the east (where you will find Dubhe) surround yourself with symbols of the harvest. Invite your guides and allies that you commonly work with during rituals. Cast a circle and invoke your own personal set of grigori (watchers) and then find yourself relaxed in the center, again facing the east. As this ritual does not specifically work with a pantheon please feel free to invoke your own gods as well if you feel it is appropriate.
Begin now by closing your eyes and taking slow and steady deep breaths. As you inhale allow your belly to fill first, then your chest, always keeping your shoulders relaxed. As you exhale feel the air spill out of you like a cup, chest first and then belly. As you breathe draw your attention to the points of stillness and silence at the beginnings and ends of each breath. Allow all other distractions to become part of this experience, driving you deeper into the moment.
Envision before you the constellation of Ursa Major. Each breath should act like a step in the direction of this constellation and each moment of stillness a step further to being present. See this pause between breaths grow pregnant with possibility and allow yourself to be drawn deeper into yourself. Know that as you travel closer to the constellation you are also traveling deeper into yourself.
Draw your attention to the fifth star from the left, Dubhe the pivot of the universe. See that unlike the other stars that compose Ursa Major, Dubhe illuminates the heavens with orange light. Move closer to this orange light and see that all other stars fade away into the blackness of space. As you float in the emptiness the only thing that you can see now is that orange star.
Invoke the heavenly host by saying, “Dubhe, great Eye of the big dipper, spine of Ursa Major and Pivot of the Universe I call to you! Align with this earthly body so I may see all that my senses fail to see! Bring forth clarity in my psyche and destroy the blocks that keep me from your sight! Rest upon my third eye and show me that which alludes me!”
Envision now that the orange orb moves to rest on your third-eye. Take three deep breaths to ground and align yourself within this energy. At the time you should feel free to commune with Dubhe. Ask it what blocks exist that you aren't seeing, ask for insight into older blocks, ask that the hidden now come to light. Pay attention to any insights you might get during this time and try to remain as open to messages as possible. It is also appropriate to convey any issue that may feel like a major roadblock in your life to Dubhe.
Once you feel that you have communicated effectively with Dubhe pick up one of your harvest symbols and hold it in both hands. Lift it up above you and recite, “Aligned within me, aligned above me, aligned below me. I am at the center of all things. I am the ebb and flow, I am the alpha and the omega. Dubhe, Ak, Leo-Eye, from your vision I will not shy! Dubhe, Ak, Leo-Eye, with your guidance I will fly! Dubhe, Ak, Leo-Eye the only limit is the sky!”
See that your whole body now begins to grow in the orange light of Dubhe. With each breath allow this orange light to grow until it encompasses all of what you see, even the darkness. Take three deep breaths to align with this energy and then see that below you is your body. Place the harvest symbol in your lap and begin to make your way back to your body. Take time as you do this, remembering to breathe slow and deep, once again paying attention to the moments of stillness and silence at the beginnings and ends of each breath.
Once you feel you have made your way back to your body, open your eyes, thank and release your personal allies and close your circle. Keep the harvest symbol you used during your trance. Allow it to serve as an anchor for the energy you encountered today. Whenever you have a need to revisit the energy it is now in an accessible place. If you used fruit, such as an apple, eat it and save the seeds, if you used grain or cereal, save the seeds! These objects will become quite useful for future work.
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